On the Waterfront: Three interesting maiden visitors to port last week

Three vessels of particular interest made their maiden visits to the harbour last week. The log ship Port Phillip brought back memories of a well-known Port Line cargo liner, Aetos also called to load logs, and Araon is the first ice-breaker to come our way for almost 39 years.

Araon is a 7487gt/3070dwt vessel owned by the Korea Polar Research Institute, registered at Inchon and managed by STX POS Ship Management. The 111m long vessel was designed to operate at 12 knots. This red-hulled visitor was ordered from the Busan yard of Hanjin Heavy Industries where it was laid down in 2008. The first of its type to be built in the country, it was launched on October 17, 2008, and delivered in 2009.

The last ice-breaker to call here was Staten Island, operated by the US Coast Guard. It arrived at Dunedin from Hobart on March 7, 1972, and departed for Raoul Island a week later. It was the first of five sisters built at San Pedro, California, by Western Pipe & Steel, and was launched on December 28, 1942, as Northwind.

The name was later given to the third of the class launched on February 25, 1945. This vessel, in company with Burton Island, the fourth of the class, and as part of Rear-Admiral Richard Byrd's third Antarctic expedition, visited Port Chalmers in February, 1947, along with the naval transports Merrick and Yancey.

Aetos, which has been loading logs at Dunedin before moving down to Port Chalmers today to take on more cargo, is the largest and longest vessel to load this cargo here. It has a gross tonnage of 28,085 and a length overall of 189.96m. Service speed is 14.5 knots and deadweight 48,893 tonnes on a loaded draught of 11.623m.

Commissioned in 2001 and built by the IHI yard at Tokyo, it is registered to New Century Seacarriers Ltd and registered at Piraeus.

Hong Kong-flagged Port Phillip is a 20,987gt, 32,500dwt vessel owned within the Pacific Basin group by Good Shape Ltd. Completed in 2008, it was the second of the eight bulk/lumber carriers ordered from Jiangmen Ship Engineering in Quangdong Province.

The first of these, Silver Lake, which has called here twice, was the first vessel built at this yard.

But many older readers will remember the Port Line vessel of this name. The 9947gt, twin-screw, refrigerated motor ship with accommodation for 12 passengers, entered service under wartime conditions in 1942. Evidence of this was the two shorter masts that were retained throughout its career.

Port Phillip made the first of its 17 visits to Port Chalmers in 1946. Its last, in 1967, was also its second visit to Dunedin. Owned by the Port Line for its entire career, the ship became something of an oddity in the fleet during its final years. It was chartered by the Brocklebank Line, which, like the Port Line, was a member of the Cunard group. It was broken up in 1971 in Shanghai.

Port Phillip was built and engined by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson at Newcastlte-on Tyne. It was the fifth ship of the name to be built on the Tyne, the others being steamers ordered by William Milburn & Co, one of the forerunners of the Port Line. The first was completed in 1883, the second in 1897, and the fourth in 1906. The third ship was sold before completion in 1904 and entered service as the Federal Steam Navigation Company's first Durham.

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